Thursday, June 4, 2009

Law & Order “The Drowned and The Saved” Recap & Review Season Finale

All Photos from NBC

I can sum up this excellent season finale of Law & Order “The Drowned and The Saved” in just a few words:

The Drowned: The Shalvoys
The Saved: Jack McCoy and the DA’s office

Unlike the Law & Order SVU finale "Zebras" ”The Drowned and The Saved” successfully closed out a chapter in this season by tying together a story arc that has been building all year. I never liked Governor Shalvoy (I still think that Tom Everett Scott was wrong for the role) and I was very glad when he got his just desserts. It was also very pleasing that he got it at the hands of Michael Cutter, who for once used his slight of hand and trickery very wisely. It was worth tolerating the Shalvoys all season just to see them both taken down in such a gratifying manner.

Most enjoyable was Jack McCoy’s (Sam Waterston’s) soliloquy in Shalvoy’s home where he passionately outlined the extent of corruption and expressing concerns about his good works. My only question about that scene was what would have prevented Jack from going into that meeting wearing a wire? Is it illegal to record on of your own conversations with someone else? I think not. I wondered - if Jack would have recorded Governor Shalvoy's veiled attempt to buy him off, would the case against him or his wife have been a lot easier for the DA's office to make? But I suppose one does not enter the governor’s home wearing a wire unless one has cause. Me, I would do it in a nanosecond!

The episode was also peppered with some enjoyable lines. I loved when Jack made the reference to the fact they were trying to indict the governor, not a ham sandwich. Everyone knows that Jack can indict a ham sandwich – provided it has meat in it.

The closing of the episode was presented in a way that if it had been the last show of the series, it would have made for a satisfying close. Lucky for us, we will have Law & Order for one more season. With Shalvoy out of the way and likely Joe Chappell’s attachment to the governor being tainted by his wife’s murder trial, we are left to think that Jack will win re-election. Let’s hope that is the case.

Clearly, this episode belonged to Sam Waterston, but the entire cast - combined with great writing - was in top form in their support of this very exciting and tense close to the season. I think that going in to its 20th season, this series has only become better and shows that things – including Jack McCoy – can really improve with age.

Here is the recap:

In an office hallway Caroline (Francie Swift) tells Charles that she put the budget on his desk, and he tells her to stay out of his office and anything she has she can give to Amy. She comments that she is sure he understands her position, and he says she obviously doesn’t understand his. She says “You can’t seriously expect me to” and he replies that he expects some consideration, tells her goodnight, and walks off.

Later, Detectives Lupo (Jeremy Sisto) and Bernard (Anthony Anderson) are called to the scene of a murder where Charles lays dead from a knife wound in the back. His clothes are expensive. He has no wallet, just a business card casing from Charles Whitley, the director of the Boland Initiative, a large charity. He also has ligature marks on his wrists from being tied up. He has a number on him in fresh ink – maybe a bank account number or password. Bernard says, “One thing I know for sure, it’s definitely not his lucky number.”

Lupo and Bernard speak to Charles’ wife, who says he is usually home by 7:00 and she thought he stopped for a drink with a colleague. She fell asleep and when she woke up he was still not home. She has no idea why he was up in Inwood. His job involved oversight of their philanthropic projects and he did not talk about any problems in the office. He loved his work, and even turned down a generous retirement package. Lupo shows her a photo of the numbers on his arm, and asks if it means anything. She said it is not like Charles to do that; it’s not even in his writing.

At the morgue, ME Rodgers (Leslie Hendrix) leading up to the “tercio de muerte” – the final act of a bullfight - 5 stab wounds to the right lower back. The numbers on his arm were applied with a regular pen, not more than a day before he was found. The numbers look like numbers from Auschwitz survivors.

The detectives head over to the Boland Initiative and speak with Caroline Reeves. She tells them Charles was not Jewish. They have grant recipients all around the city. She spoke with Charles the day before and he did not mention going to Inwood. Bernard asks about the retirement package, and Caroline says it was proforma, when Charles turns 62, he was eligible for early retirement. They were relieved when he decided to stay on. A woman enters and reminds Reeves of a conference call, and she excuses herself. The woman brings in all of Whitney’s personal correspondence, and Lupo comments that his date book has every other Tuesday between 5 and 6 blocked off. She says she calls a car for him for a 4:15 pickup but she never asked where he was going and he never told him. She would just tell a dispatcher to take Mr. Whitney as directed.

The detectives arrive at the apartment of Lorraine Flockhart (Jodie Markell), and she says they must be here about the murder down the street. She offers to put on some fennel tea but Lupo declines. They tell her a car service dropped off the victim at her address and she is shocked to see it is Charles. She said he was one of her clients. Bernard asks if she was his nutritionist, and she says she was. He had a standing appointment for years. He said he was bit run down, she checked his glycemic index and the made some changes to his diet and he left just after 6/ She has no idea about the numbers, he was wearing a jacket the whole time.

Back at the 2-7, Lt. Van Buren (S. Epatha Merkerson) says there are plenty of nutritionists near his office and asks if they are sure this wasn’t about sex. Bernard says they did not get that vibe, and Lupo says the woman is about as old as his wife and what would be the point. Van Buren looks at Lupo and says, ‘I can’t believe you said that, detective” and Lupo innocently says, ”What?” Bernard says he can’t believe it either. Van Buren’s phone rings, she tells the caller it is their case and of course they are interested.

Later, they speak with a woman from a newspaper and she shows them a manila envelope saying it arrived at the metro desk that morning, no return address and no note. She gives them a copy of the content, a DVD. When she saw that Whitley was on it, she called the 2-7. They play the video and it shows Whitley bound with some women in dominatrix attire, one woman who Charles refers to as Fraulein Vera. Lupo recognizes Lorraine, the “nutritionist.” They are beating Charles, telling him to say please to lick her boot.

They have Lorraine in interrogation, and she says what she does is legal, he got the treatment he paid for and wanted. The number was his idea. She denies any blackmail intent and says the recording was made without his knowledge. Someone sent it to his office and now they were trying to fire him. The other women who were with her did not know where Charles worked. He came over that Tuesday for his usual session, she had fired the two girls and got another room.

Outside the interrogation room, Van Buren comments the DVD came after Charles refused to retire, and says somebody really wanted him out of that job badly.

Back at Boland, Caroline tells them she didn’t want to tell them about the DVD because she did not want to embarrass Charles’ family. The DVD and the envelope it came in had been destroyed at the advice of counsel, but Lupo comments that wouldn’t’ they need the DVD. Charles threatened to sue if they fired him and was completely unapologetic. Their lawyers said Charles had a strong case. She said that Whitney was respected, that was, before the DVD landed on her desk.

Back at the 2-7, Van Buren speaks with Charles wife, she said she did not know how to tell them about Charles’ predilection and she didn’t understand it. She knew about the video, and she said it was not about money, they wanted to hurt him professionally. She leaved to call her children about the matter. Afterwards, Lupo says, ‘That is gonna be one awkward phone call.” Bernard says that they found no spy cam at Lorraine’s. Van Buren tells them to take a run at the nutritionists “little elves.”

At the apartment of Vera Laslen (Tanya Fischer), she tells the detectives that is her photo, but says it is just acting. She had nothing to do with the DVD but Lorraine still fired her. Lupo points to her chest and asks her if she just had some work done, and Vera says they look too high but will look better when the implants settle. He said she didn’t have them on the video and asks her where she got the money for them. She says her savings, but Lupo and Bernard aren’t buying it, and they press her on the issue. Lupo says if she paid for them with money from the video from Lorraine’s, the government can seize them as proceeds from a crime, they will just put her under the knife and take them out. They tell her Charles was murdered and she is shocked. Lupo says if she cooperates with them they can help make sure she keeps her “enhancements.” She shows them a cupboard and says it’s behind the Cocoa Puffs and says a guy gave her 10 grand to put the camera in Lorraine’s place and that is all she did. The guy’s name was Phil and she met him outside of Lorraine’s, and he said he was looking for a restaurant and after they hooked up at the hotel he asked her to hook up the camera the next time Charlie came by. He paid her and never came back again. His phone number doesn’t work anymore. She saw him using an ATM around the corner and looked at her as if he caught her stealing money. She asks if they are going to let her keep them now, and Lupo says they will be in touch.

At Halliwell Security Group, Bobby Amato (Luke Kirby) – AKA Phil - compliments them on the police work. He says he wanted a no string attached fling. He says she is a nut job and says he has a weakness for crazy girls. Bernard tells him she is connected to Charles Whitley and does he know who he is. He says no, and they tell him about Vera’s comment about the money. He knows his right and won’t tell them where he was the night of the murder. Bernard asks how he got into the security business, and he says it was personal interest, his older sister was killed by a stalker in college. He tells them to have a nice ride back to the city.

Walking outside, the detectives discuss what they know with Van Buren. Amato doesn’t have the money and was likely moonlighting for someone who wanted Whitley out of the way. Van Buren says it may be enough for an extortion charge and she tells them to talk to the judge about a search warrant.

At the apartment of Bobby Amato, they find a program to operate remote camera, and they see a video of a property room at the precinct, where they stored the camera Vera gave them and that she said he gave her. They arrest him. They also find a letter of recommendation for Bobby Amato addressed to the Halliwell Group from last year. It’s signed by Rita Shalvoy, the wife of the governor. Lupo says of Amato, “No wonder he’s so cocky. The guy’s got juice. “ Bernard answers, ‘Lupes, we just stepped into a big stinking pile.”

ADA Connie Rubirosa (Alana De La Garza) tells EADA Michael Cutter (Linus Roache) and DA Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston) that according to her letter of resume, Rita Shalvoy met Bobby Amato 13 years ago when his sister was killed. McCoy says that Rita was a victim’s advocate back then, and asks what was his sister’s name. Rubirosa states it is Ellie Amato, and McCoy comments, ‘Ellie’s Law” which Rubirosa says is an anti-stalking statute. McCoy says Rita fought to make that happen. Cutter says that they know what a fighter she is and how corrupt her husband is. McCoy tells them to start finding out who Amato was working for, and he will talk to Rita Shalvoy, and when this gets a “look” from Cutter, McCoy tells him it is just to give her a heads up her friend is going to be charged for extortion.

In the prison conference area, Cutter tells Amato that his boss says he isn’t working for him in New York, he was freelancing for someone else. Amato says there is no one else,he did a job for Halliwell and decided to stay in town to see the sites. But Rubirosa isn’t buying it, asking him from where - Zagats guide to S&M dungeons? When Amato says he wants to tell her about that, his lawyer tries to get him to be quiet. But Amato says it’s OK. He was up in Inwood looking for a Dominican restaurant where he met Vera, after they hooked up, she told him what she did for a living. She said she was worried about this client, this creep that she thought was stalking her. He told her his sister had been killed by a stalker and he would follow him for her to put her mind at ease. Now Cutter isn’t buying it, sarcastically questioning it as an act of gallantry toward a woman he was dating under a pseudonym and planning to dump. But Amato asks if he mentioned that following people is fun. He told Vera where he lived and worked in case she needed to protect herself. He adds then she had the nerve to turn on him and set him up with this extortion rap. When Rubirosa asks if he is saying she planted spy cam software on his computer. He says no, don’t be ridiculous, he gave her the spy camera so he could watch her, she liked to put on little shows for him on the computer. But then she made a video of Whitley and framed him for it. But Cutter, shaking his head and acting skeptical, asks Amato if he is sure he didn’t leave anything out but Amato says that covers it. Rubirosa said that Vera never mentioned her worries about Whitley to the police. But Amato says she was definitely concerned. He says the guy was twisted and hyped up on coke. Cutter says, “drugs now.” Amato says Whitley went to dinner a few months ago in honor Jimmy Carter and spent the whole night in the bathroom with a bloody nose, and adds that is a guy with a problem right there.

At the Shalvoy residence, Rita Shalvoy (Alison Elliott) tells McCoy she is sorry to hear about Bobby Amato, and that he has never recovered from his sister’s death. She appreciates his heads up, and says she hopes when the election is over they can find a way to be friends again. He says, “You know me I’m an optimist by nature but wouldn’t Donald object?” She says Donald has ample proof of her loyalty and with their youngest going off to boarding school it is her opportunity to re-engage with the world. McCoy says, ‘Well, you can’t keep a good woman down” and brings her back to Amato and the letter of recommendation she wrote and how well does she know him? She says the fight for Ellie’s Law gave Bobby a purpose. He became attached to her and is loyal to a fault. A few years ago he called her, she was on her way to Maine to visit her mom who was ill. Two days later, Bobby shows up in Maine with a car full of groceries ready to pitch in and help. She had to explain why his behavior was inappropriate and he apologized and left. McCoy says it sounds like she needed Ellie’s Law herself. She asks McCoy if he’s ever had a cat, that they will bring you mice that they have killed, a kind of unsolicited act of devotion. She said Bobby is like that.

Back in Cutter’s office, Rubirosa confirms to Cutter and McCoy the information about the December dinner with 30 people honoring Jimmy Carter at the Shalvoy townhouse. If Whitley went there right after an S&M session with a bloody nose, Rita Shalvoy would have known and she may have told Amato and got him on Whitley. McCoy says she is already setting up a preemptive defense for herself that Amato was stalking her and doing unsolicited favors. McCoy says, “Rita Shalvoy and Charles Whitley. Connect the dots.”

Back at the Boland Institute, Rubirosa and Cutter speak with Caroline Reeves. She tells them the invitation to the Carter dinner was sent to the Boland Initiative and Charles happened to be free that night. She says she knows of no relationship Charles had with Rita Shalvoy. The Shalvoys have attended some of their functions but they have no relationship with them. Cutter pointedly asks Reeves if she ever talked with Rita Shalvoy about Whitley, maybe complain about him She says no, what a strange question. He reminds her that she tried to fire him and knew about the DVD. She said it is completely untrue and she never wished Charles any harm.

Back at the 2-7, Lupo tells Cutter and Rubirosa that Reeves left her office a half hour after they talked to her and took a cab to Hudson River park, Bernard recognizes the woman Reeves met with there as Thea Curry, the city council woman from district 52. It appears Caroline is confiding in her, and that they are lovers, and Caroline Reeves is married. Cutter says they need to remind Curry she has an obligation to report any criminal activity to them.

At the office of City Council Woman Thea Curry (Susan Kelechi Watson), she tells them she is aware of her ethical obligations. What the detectives say is nobody’s business. When Cutter says Reeves is a lovely woman, Curry says she would put in a word for him but Reeves is married. Rubirosa sees some information for Georgetown Day School and asks if this is the same school t he Obama’s considered enrolling their children. She says she thinks it was, but denies she is moving to Washington and says she has shared custody of her children with her husband and he has had job offers.

Back in Cutter’s office, Rubirosa tells them that the people at Georgetown School say Thea Curry visited twice, she told them she was the one who may be moving to DC, not her ex. McCoy says she’s a smart woman who everyone expects to run for higher office, but then says, “Of course. It’s been staring us in the face.” He writes on the whiteboard that New York has an open senate seat and Governor Shalvoy can appoint whomever he wants to fill that vacancy. Cutter says, “If there is something in it for him.” McCoy quips, “Does a bear crap in the woods?” Rubirosa adds that meanwhile, Curry’s lover Caroline Reeves tries to coax Whitley to retire. McCoy adds when that didn’t work, Rita’s “loyal to a fault” private spy dug up the dirt on Whitley and force him out. Rubirosa says this is the horse trade, Curry becomes senator and Rita Shalvoy to become executive director of a prestigious international charity. McCoy says “The Shalvoy’s are running a big game of musical chairs.” But Cutter says it is still not clear if Amato killed Whitley on Rita’s orders and if the governor knew about it. Cutter says if Shalvoy goes down, he takes Joe Chappell with him,. McCoy says that is not a factor on how they prosecute this case, and they all seem to smirk a bit. Cutter says, “Don’t look so happy, Jack. “ McCoy leaves the room.

Back at the prison with Bobby Amato, they tell him that Rita Shalvoy described him as a quasi-stalker who did him favors she never asked for and he says she would never say that. Cutter says she will say whatever he did to Whitley she never asked him to do and she is just greasing the skids. . His lawyer asks if they have a plea offer, and Cutter say manslaughter. Amato says that Rita wanted his help to force Whitley out and told him about his nosebleed and he would have no problem finding something on him. She gave him a diamond necklace and told him where he could sell it. He got 20 grand for it. He used 10 grand to pay Vera to make the DVD. Two weeks after he sent the DVD to Reeves, Rita called him and said Whitley was being stubborn and would Bobby “remove” him, he was standing in her way of doing great things. She reminded him of Ellie’s Law and how could he turn his back on her now, so he did what she asked. She never mentioned the governor.

Back in McCoy’s office, Cutter tells him it hard to believe Rita went so far off the reservation without her husband knowing about it. McCoy says that when it comes to the Shalvoy’s, he suspended disbelief a long time ago, and asks how much of the story they can corroborate. They can’t track down the necklace as it was resold for cash, and it could have belonged to anybody. Amato offered to wear a wire if they can get Rita into a room with him, but McCoy say Rita wasn’t born yesterday. He tells to have Amato’s lawyer move for a bail hearing.

In the chambers of Judge Thomas South, Rita is there, and she doesn’t understand why she has been called to the bail hearing. Amato’s lawyer said he subpoenaed her to address her clients release on bail and she will testify to his likeliness to appear. Rita says she does not want to hurt Amato’s chances for bail but she will not address that/ Amato asks to speak to Rita in private, but Cutter says that is highly irregular. The defense lawyer begs for a chance for her to cooperate, and the judge gives his client 10 minutes. They all walk out, leaving Amato and Rita there alone.

Rita tells Bobby he put her in an awkward position, and he asks why she isn’t helping him. He’s kept his mouth shut until now. She says she doesn’t know what he is talking about. He says they have to come up with a story, and she asks if he is implying he murdered Charles Whitley for her. He says, “You know I did.” She tells him he knows that is not true, he heard her criticize Whitley but she never asked him to harm Whitley. Amato stands up, and says he will tell them about the necklace, and she says ”What necklace?” She says she told him before that he needs psychiatric help. She touches he hand and walks off.

Later, Cutter, Rubirosa and McCoy listen to the recording of Rita and Amato, and the comment she made about Amato needing psychiatric help. Rita did not come close to an admission. McCoy gets a call from Ida, and he says, ‘Tonight? Tell him I’ll be there.” He hangs up and tells Cutter he’s been summoned.

At the Shalvoy residence, her attorney tells McCoy that he advised Rita to “report this" and she wanted to do it as soon as possible. Rita tells Jack that Bobby Amato confessed to her today that he killed Charles Whitley, and as fond as she is of him, she is prepared to testify against him. Her lawyer, with Governor Shalvoy (Tom Everett Scott) also present, says she will come down tomorrow and give a full statement. McCoy says it is the right thing to do, and he asks the Governor for a word. Rita and the lawyer leave the room. Shalvoy says that Rita told him that Amato might try to drag her down with him. McCoy begins speaking:

McCoy: Let’s not insult each other’s intelligence, OK? We both know what this murder was about. A senate seat. (long pause) Seems like every day we hear about another corrupt civil servant. Corrupt banker, businessman, athlete. Seems that behind every success story of the last ten years, a scandal is exploding. We’re facing a rising sea of corruption and we wonder, who will be the next to be drowned? Who will be saved? And what will become of our good works? When will it stop Donald and who will stop it?

Shalvoy (looking smug): If you expect me to implicate Rita and jeopardize my family…

McCoy: Your family. They’re campaign props you use to get elected. They mean as much to you as balloons and bumper stickers you whoring proves it

Shalvoy: Be careful Jack. I’ll attribute that to the stress of your campaign. I know you are in a dead heat with Joe Chappell. I also know a few things about Joe, maybe could swing the numbers your way.

McCoy is smiling now, and says: You’re trying to buy me off?

Shalvoy: Well you worry about your good works, Jack. How are you going to safeguard them if you’re not in the game anymore? (Jack has stopped smiling and he leaves the room.)

In Cutter’s office, Rubirosa tell McCoy that Rita came in and gave her statement and has inoculated herself against anything Bobby would say. But McCoy tells them to convene and grand jury to investigate the selling of a senate seat by the Governor. Once they prove the why of Whitley’s murder then can prove the who.

At the grand jury, Thea Curry is testifying. She says the governor asked her to help Rita find a position in public service, and she read between the lines he would then help her with the senate seat. She told him about a friend at the Boland Initiative being unhappy with Charles Whitley, and she would look into that situation with his wife. Carolyn agreed to urge Whitley to retire. When he refused, Curry called the governor and said the job wasn’t opening up. The governor said he would let her know about the senate appointment, and a week later Caroline told her about Whitley’s murder.

In McCoy’s office, he picked up on the “read between the lines” comment and he is not sure that makes pay to play. Cutter thinks that may be enough to indict, but McCoy says, “You’re asking the grand jury to indict a sitting governor, he’s not exactly a ham sandwich.” Rubirosa enters and says that Shalvoy is talking about the vacant senate seat, and she turns on the TV. Shalvoy is saying that his only criterion is who will best represent the state of New York. He says he wants someone season enough to handle the rough and tumble world of national politics, and he says Manhattan District Attorney Jack McCoy is at the top of his list.” McCoy says Shalvoy must have found out they convened a grand jury, and he is muddying the waters. Cutter wonders who will vote for a DA who has one eye on Washington, and he has to admit it’s rather brilliant. McCoy gets on the phone and tells Ida to get Mark in the campaign office, and tells Cutter and Rubirosa that he will put this to and end at a press conference. Cutter gets a messages that says they are wanted in the grand jury.

At the grand jury, the foreman saying they say the news at the lunch break and some of them wondering if Jack McCoy is horse-trading with the governor too. Cutter says that McCoy is not the target of their investigation. Another asks if Thea Curry was subpoenaed to whittle down McCoy’s competition for the senate job and they would like to hear what he has to say about it, and they want him under oath

Outside, McCoy is fuming, and tells Cutter his grand jury is out of control, and if it leaks out he has been called to a grand jury he might as well concede to Joe Chappell right now. Cutter tells him he needs to get out in front of it, but his campaign manager says he needs to invoke executive privilege and to stall until after the election. But Cutter says if that is his plan he would prefer McCoy concede.

Jack McCoy is on the stand in the grand jury. Cutter asks him if he ever sought an interim appointment for the senate and he says no, he is running for reelection as DA. He has no desire to hold any other office. He never discussed it as it concerns himself. But one juror asks that this means he did talk with the governor about the spot, and now the governor is thinking of appointing him. Why should they not infer he made a deal. McCoy paused to find his words, and says he convened the grand jury because the police uncovered evidence of political corruption during the investigation of a murder. The governor’s announcement is a ploy to highjack their inquiry. He never saw it and will not accept appointment to the senate because he is committed to servicing the city as chief law enforcement officer, and he will prosecute political corruption wherever it occurs and whomever perpetrates it.

The grand jury is still out but McCoy is concerned, saying one juror seemed ready to storm the barricades and there is a mob mentality in this country right now and none of them can afford to be complacent. The verdict is in, and they voted a sealed indictment against Governor Shalvoy for official misconduct and attempted bribe receiving in the second degree – nothing about McCoy. Rubirosa reminds them it is just and indictment and they need evidence to convict. But McCoy says it is sufficient from what he needs to do with it.

Back at the Shalvoy’s, Rita tells Donald she will not be sent out again, and Donald tells McCoy that whatever he has to say to him he says in front of his wife. He says fine, he has a sealed indictment against him for bargaining with Thea Curry. Donald asks what McCoy promised Curry in return for her perjured testimony, and McCoy tells him to be careful, anything he says can be used against him in a court of law. Rita asks if he is Mirandizing him, and McCoy says he has officers outside waiting to arrest him. Donald says, ‘Waiting? What do you want from me?” McCoy wants corroboration of Amato’s testimony against Rita. For Whitley’s murder. Rita tells McCoy his vendetta against her is pathological. He says, ‘If you give me what I need, I might be convinced that your conversation with Thea Curry was political back-scratching that didn’t rise to the level of criminality. I’ll withdraw the indictment as legally insufficient before it even sees the light of day. You’ll keep your position. You power. “ But when Shalvoy asks, “How can I trust you,“ Rita comments to Donald that he can’t be seriously considering this. Jack says, “Never mind trust. Do the math.” Rita reminds Donald that every conversation they have is subject to spousal privilege. McCoy reminds her the privilege has exceptions, and Donald says he knows. Donald asks about the necklace, and Rubirosa says yes. Donald says he says that it may be an exception to the privilege if he saw his wife take the necklace out of the safe and put it in her purse , an necklace their insurance company has a picture of. Rita stops him and tells McCoy ever word out of Donald’s mouth is a lie. Donald goes on to say that for his son’s sake, he can’t take the stand against Rita, and Rubirosa says he would not have to, if the jewelry recognizes the necklace from the photo that corroborates Amato’s story. McCoy says “done” and Rita moves to her husband, calling him a bastard and mentions having to clean up after him and that “Brazilian whore.” He tells her to suck it up. He adds that when he heard Whitley was killed, he knew it had to be her, she was in heat for the Boland job, she wanted to be the big humanitarian jetting around the globe, saving the world. He adds, “and now look at you, sad, pathetic.” McCoy says, “Shut up, Donald.” Rita pleads with McCoy, saying Donald is framing her and this is what he always wanted so he can be with his whore. McCoy tells her not to do this to herself. As they take her off in cuffs, she says, “He owed me! You owe me!” McCoy turns to walk away, turning back to glance and Donald, and walks out.

Cutter stays behind and tell the governor that when the police were investigating Charles Whitley they found that his “dark world” overlapped Donald’s. He says he is not one of those S&M freaks, but Cutter says he would be surprised at how many of sex workers migrate specialties and they love to gossip about their clients. He says one thing about people like him is that they can’t stop. Cutter says he has names and dates and places. Donald asks him what he wants, and he asks for his resignation, intact, just saying he is leaving office to support his wife and family in a time of personal crisis. Donald says that wasn’t the deal, McCoy said he would stay in office. Cutter says that he’s not Jack McCoy and walks out.

Later, McCoy is in his office with the TV on, listing to Shalvoy talk about the politically motivated charges against his wife. Shalvoy says after speaking with one of most talented minds in the state, Deputy Attorney General Joe Chappell (Tom Galantich) he needs to put his family first decided to resign effect immediately. McCoy . says “one last shot at me, before the door slams behind him.” He opens his desk drawer and reaches for the scotch. He add that he is surprised that given the chance to keep his job, he thought Donald would hold on with both hands. He asks Cutter what he said to him yesterday. Cutter says, “I – ah – I told him that I had this list of his latest assignations with prostitutes””. The page is blank, and McCoy says he is not sure he approves. Cutter asks, “Not sure? I thought you wanted to win this election.” Rubirosa reminds them that the polls open in 7 hours. McCoy hands them all a drink, and holds his glass up for a toast, saying “May we live to fight another day.” Rubirosa says “hear hear” and they make clink their glasses and drink as we fade to black.

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samfan said...

The best episode of the season! One of the best in the past couple of seasons!!! The whole cast shined! Great review!!!! Loved the whole thing!!!!! Go Jack!

Anonymous said...

This is what a great ep looks like. Well written, acted and presented. The entire thing just flowed, highlighted by the wonderful Sam Waterston. And could I fall for Mr. Michael Cutter? After last night, the answer is YES!!! (Especially at the end with that tossled hair...THE VAPORS)

Loved it that the Shalvoys got theirs and we got ours. Excellent season finale.


Anonymous said...

this ep was brilliant

for a bit I was worried what they had planned when McCoy spoke to Shalvoy about the sale of the Senate seat (w/o a wire). ..I mean, I could see that Shalvoy would have found a way to make it seem as though McCoy was looking for the position to screw him over

the Cutter - Shalvoy exchange had me on the edge of my seat as I immediately thought OMG CUTTER is going to extort the senate position (Roache can give one hell of an evil prick look), so it was nice to see the deal he demanded. This being said, I think letting Shalvoy show his true colors by not extorting a resignation after his wife was arrested would have done more damage to Shalvoy (who would have been pressured to resign since not doing so would make him look like the schmuck he is).

JB said...

I loved this episode! I've always had a special place in my heart for the original L&O, and there was a while there a few seasons ago that I felt it was going downhill, and it saddened me. But since the current cast has been in, it has been especially amazing. Note to SVU: this is how it's done.


"Is it illegal to record on of your own conversations with someone else?"

In some states it is. I don't know about New York. But in any case, it all worked out smashingly in the end; especially the poetic justice Cutter employed by using the political maneuvering that Shalvoy doles out left and right to take him down. Great, great episode. I'm so excited that it's been renewed for next year. Though, I wish they would have ordered the full 22 episodes.

Texas Democrats for Governor Perry 2010 said...

GREAT ending to Law and Order last night, I was so happy that Governor Shalvoy and his wife, Rita got what they deserved for treating McCoy like a b**** last season, let's face it even if Rita was arrested for murder and the Senate seat scandal exploded, Shalvoy was going to either be forced out or impeached from office (see Blagojevich in IL).

I wonder who's going to take Shalvoy's place as governor next season (maybe a David Paterson-lite character).

Anonymous said...

A terrific episode. I hadn't expected L&O to use the Max Moseley case as inspiration - especially since Moseley is a relatively unknown figure in the U.S. - but it fit very well into the plot. And the final scene where Gov. Shalvoy abandons his wife was superbly written and acted. I hope we get a little more about what makes Cutter tick in Season 20 - he seems to thrive on and almost revel in the same deceptions that Jack believed were dishonest but often necessary.

And, of course, even though it would never be something he wanted, I think Jack McCoy would have made an excellent Senator...

Lisa R. said...

Brilliant episode in every way! Now I'm just really sad this is the last new episode we'll see for many months.

Loved the exchanges between Cutter, McCoy, and Shalvoy. Best line of the season "I'm not Jack McCoy"! Linus Roache, you are awesome as Cutter.

Everyone was excellent really. Could not have asked for a better finale!

Jachelle said...

I do so appreciate your excellent recaps, All Things L&O. The episode had a lot going on so reading your recap filled in the gaps. I also thought the finale was a good episode-a very good way to tie up the Shalvoy story.

I was late to the party and didn't really start watching the mothership until the last two years (though I caught up with most of the old episodes with reruns) and I think the new cast has really refreshed the show. I especially like Alana De La Garza's Rubirosa. It is so good to see her playing a strong, intelligent woman after playing the doomed Marisol on CSI: Miami. I'm hoping that NBC will be kind and/or wise and give it more than just one year.

samfan said...

Now if they will just make every episode as good as this!

All Things Law and Order said...

Jachelle, you are right about Alana. She better represents the modern woman in her role as ADA Rubirosa as she did as the sometimes helpless Marisol on CSI-M. In fact, in her first year with L&O I was not impressed with how they protrayed her character and I think they have worked wonders to make her more realistic and less stiff. I think she makes a great ADA and may be one of the smartest that that the franchise has had in a long long time.

RangerGirl said...

I loved this episode! I agree with samfan that it was the best episode of the season. Did anybody else read that Law & Order topped the 10 pm hour with 8.8 million?

Anonymous said...

who is the actress who played vera?

Shelly said...

This was a fantastic season finale. Loved the exchange you highlighted between Jack and Shalvoy when he talks about corrupt politicians, and loved that the Shalvoys got "theirs." This episode had me on the edge of my seat. If I wanted to nitpick I'm sure I could find something I didn't like, but nothing comes to mind.

I agree about Connie. I wasn't at all impressed after her first season, but they have really given her a voice in the office, and she ranks up there now with my favorites (Abby and Jamie).

A quick aside - am I the only one who laughed and laughed when Lupes noticed that Vera had been "enhanced"? I was torn between thinking... "good observation skills Lupes" and "typical male"... lol... but the look on his face when he's asking her about it is priceless.

All Things Law and Order said...

To anonymous - Vera was played by Tanya Fischer.

Shelly, I also was amused by Lupo's "attentiveness" to Vera's "enhanvements" and I loved it when he taunted her about having to have them confiscated. Some great writing in that scene and Lupo pulled it off very well.

Anonymous said...

Dunno if it has been mentioned yet, but in New York, it is legal to wiretap as long as one side agrees to it. Thus McCoy could have done so without Shalvoy's knowledge. But I think he could not have known he would try to buy him off.

In other news: AMAZING EPISODE.

Anonymous said...

I´m starting to think L&O has lost its essence by not showing case references and court debates any more like in the past (e.g: Torrents of Greed I and II - season 1). Average season, 3-star season.
5-star blog, though! ;)